The Narcotics Act B.E. 2522(1979) (NCA) classifies the drugs into five schedules or types. Drug abuse violation under the NCA includes unlawful possession, use, manufacturing, and distribution. Based on H&P lawyers in Bangkok experience in several criminal proceedings and drug cases we would like to summarize the key legal aspects on cases involving drugs in Thailand and the level of sentence varies depending on the category of the drug.

Schedule I

This category is dangerous narcotics such as Heroin, Methamphetamine, Dihydroetorphine, Ketobemidone, Methaqualone, Methylone. The penalty for general possession is 1 to 10 years imprisonment or fine of 20,000 to 200,000 THB, or both. The penalty for sale or possession with intent to distribute is 4 years imprisonment or death penalty and fine of 80,000 to 5,000,000 THB, or both.

Schedule II

This category is ordinary narcotics such as Cocaine, Morphine, Oxycodone, Phenadoxone. The penalty for general possession is not over 5 years imprisonment or fine of 100,000 THB, or both. The penalty for sale or possession with intent to distribute is 1 years to life imprisonment or fine of 20,000 to 5,000,000 THB.

Schedule III

This category is the narcotics which are in the form of medicinal formula and contain narcotics in Schedule II as ingredients. The penalty for sale or possession with intent to distribute is 1 years to life imprisonment or fine of 20,000 to 200,000 THB.

Schedule IV

This category is chemical substances for producing narcotics in Schedule I or Schedule II such as Acetic Anhydride, Acetyl Chloride, Ergometrinine, Piperonal. The penalty for general possession is not over 5 years imprisonment or fine of 100,000 THB, or both. The penalty for sale or possession with intent to distribute is 1 to 15 years imprisonment or fine of 20,000 to 1,500,000 THB, or both.

Schedule V

This category is the narcotics which are not included in Schedule I to Schedule IV such as some part of marijuana. If you want to know more about the legalization of marijuana in Thailand, you can find more on our previous article “New Announcement of Cannabis Legalization in Thailand”

The penalty for general possession is not over 5 years imprisonment or fine of 100,000 THB, or both. The penalty for sale or possession with intent to distribute is 5 to 15 years imprisonment or fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 THB, or both.

What is the proceeding and defense?

After the arrest, the accused can file the bail petition and may need to deposit money with the court. In our professional experience, many foreigners can face problems to find guarantors who are responsible for potential violations of the bails. The amount of deposit money depends on the charges and other factors. It could be from 10,000 or up to 2,000,000 THB. However, the court solely has discretion to grant the bail or not.

According to H&P lawyers experience in the drugs cases, there are some possible ways to defense against the charges. The typical one is the amount of drugs in the possession charge. If it does not reach the certain amount, the charge could be only the general possession, not the possession with intent to sell. Another defense includes the unlawful search and seizure, or illegal obtaining of evidence, etc.

If you need to consult a Lawyer on a drug case in Thailand, please contact our Bangkok Criminal lawyers at [email protected]

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